THE PANAGBENGA 2018 GRAND FLOAT PARADE

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Cultural and business sensitivity promised in Panagbenga

“Panagbenga” or the Baguio Flower Festival promises to be closer to what it should be with assurances of cultural authenticity and greater support of the business sector that benefits the most from the city’s month-long special tourism-oriented event now on its 16th year.

This means adherence to the purity and genuine blending of the costumes, gong beats and dance steps of each Cordillera tribe  in the street performances, according to regional tourism director Purificacion Molintas.

This means rallying business establishments to financially contribute to the success of the month-long festival that generates huge revenues and keeps the cash registers of restaurants and hotels ringing.

“I’m embarrassed,” admitted restaurateur Moises Cating in recognition of the lackluster support of the business sector to the festival in last Wednesday’s “Kapihan” media forum at the Panagbenga Park by the first gate of Camp John Hay.

With this, Cating asked mayor Mauricio Domogan to endorse his appeal for more commercial establishments to plow back part of their huge earnings to this year’s edition of  the crowd-drawing festival that unfolds with the traditional  parade on Feb. 1.

Calling Cating “the life-time president of the HRAB (Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio),” the mayor welcomed the businessman’s push, adding he had already signed a letter appealing for the business sector’s yearly support to Panagbenga.

Domogan reiterated that the festival is a community-led cultural and tourism project supported by government, but  primarily to serve as a rallying point for teamwork and unity in celebrating Baguio’s God-given temperate climate and natural beauty.

“Let us not forget that the festival is, foremost, our way of thanking the Lord Almighty for the beautiful environment that He has given Baguio,” the mayor said. He added that Panagbenga (a native term meaning a season of blooming) also helps establish the city’s identity and project its rich cultural heritage.

Accenting on cultural awareness and sensitivity, Molintas said steps had been taken to ensure the genuineness and purity of the distinct costumes, musical instruments and dance steps of each Cordillera tribe performance in the street dancing feature.

This means that those in Benguet costume will dance the Benguet “tayao” to the beat of Benguet gongs.

Discrepancies had been noted in past editions of the festival and in other dance-and-costume presentations. This was made glaring by a well-proportioned sculpture of an Igorot deer hunter installed years ago at a corner of the football grounds of the Burnham Park..

Before it was toppled by the July, 1990 killer-quake, the figure was wearing  a Bontoc “suklong” or headgear and an Ifugao “ginutto” or belt and bolo on his waist.

On the need to rally the business sector to invest in the festival, Freddie Alquiros, co-head of the Panagbenga executive committee, said only a few establishments had sustained their sponsorship over the years.

Seeking the blessings of the mayor, Cating, who owns the Ganza and Solibao restaurants at the corners of the Burnham Park grounds, promised to rally his peers in commerce to contribute to the business profit-generating festival.

Alquiroz said the business sector may decide to sponsor a meal or two of the hundreds of volunteers assigned to the various festival, saying his own establishment prepares at least 200 meal packs for them each year.

The “Grand Canao”, a fore-runner of the Panagbenga  that accent on Cordillera ethnic  culture, proved a success for some years but eventually faded out, partly due to the failure of the business sector to sustain its fund counterpart to run the same.

 
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ADVISORY

STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS 2017

STATEMENT IN REPLY TO THE PUBLISHED OPEN LETTER OF BCDA PRESIDENT and CEO ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA

STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS
2014

Speech Delivered by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan during the Cordillera Month Closing Ceremony
July 26 SLU-BC

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